The federal government wants to see more Canadian content made available on streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus.
That responsibility lies in the hands of Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault, who has received his mandate letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to do just that.
Specifically, the letter asks Guilbeault to “introduce legislation by the end of 2020 that will take appropriate measures to ensure that all content providers, including internet giants, offer meaningful levels of Canadian content in their catalogues.”
The mandate letter also tasks Guilbeaut with strengthening the regional mandate of CBC/Radio-Canada “to broadcast more local news and require CBC/Radio-Canada to open up its digital platform.”
Trudeau also wants to see annual funding increased for Telefilm Canada, according to the letter.
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Canadian content (abbreviated CanCon) refers to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) requirements that radio and television broadcasters must air a certain percentage of content that was at least partly written, produced, presented, or otherwise contributed to by persons from Canada.
For television broadcast stations, the CRTC presently requires that 60% annually, and at least 50% of programming aired daily from 6 pm to midnight must be of Canadian origin.